25-50-100 years ago
A century ago, the local newspaper was filled with headlines about the spectacle of Halley’s comet and the death of King Edward VII in England, but a ranch accident provided a bit of local news. The Aspen Democrat-Times reported:About 11 o’clock this morning Thomas Gagnon suffered a serious accident at his ranch on Red Mountain.Mr. Gagnon was in the field working with a mare and a colt. It would seem that the mare feared the colt was to be taken away from her and attacked Mr. Gagnon, kicking him with both hind feet, one foot striking him about three inches below the apex of the heart and the other inflicting a severe blow to the left shoulder.Dr. Ridley was hastily summoned to the ranch, and on arriving there found that Mr. Gagnon had sustained three broken ribs below the heart, in addition to the injury to the shoulder.••••Local eighth-graders were “preparing an excellent program,” according to this report in the Democrat-Times:The pupils of the eighth grade are arranging an elaborate program under the direction of Professor Beckner to be presented before the Aspen people the last of this month.These youngsters will enter the high school next year as “freshmen” and are giving this program as a fitting close of their years of supremacy in the grammar schools, knowing that they will have no pie to eat next year and will have to take the brunt of all the battles.By the way, Professor Beckner will enjoy the distinction of sending the best prepared eighth grade into the high school years in Aspen.
The Paepcke Auditorium is a well-known venue in Aspen. Fifty years ago, plans to construct it were announced. The Aspen Times reported:Construction of a 650-seat auditorium and concert hall at the Aspen Meadows is expected to start in 1961, it was announced last Saturday by Robert O. Anderson, president of the Aspen Institute for Humanistic Studies.The structure will be named as a memorial to Walter S. Paepcke and will replace the orchestra shell built in 1949 for the Goethe Bicentennial celebration.Designed by Aspen architect Herbert Bayer, the auditorium will be of contemporary architectural style in keeping with the other buildings of the Aspen Institute, Anderson explained.••••A new watering hole in Redstone was the focus of a discussion before Pitkin County commissioners in 1960. The Aspen Times reported:Two liquor stores and one bar are enough to serve the needs of a town of about 70, 13 people who own property in Redstone told county commissioners Wednesday, May 18.The group included a lawyer, Charles Traylor of Grand Junction. It attended the county meeting to protest the issuance of a liquor license which commissioners said they would grant to Leonard Short of Redstone.Short applied for, but failed to obtain, a license last fall. At that time and at a recent board meeting, commissioners indicated that they would pass favorably on the request.Construction on a restaurant-lounge owned by Short is now almost complete.••••Skier numbers for the 2009-10 season in Colorado have not yet been released. Fifty years ago, they were up considerably. The Aspen Times reported:Colorado’s ski business showed a spectacular, 42 percent increase during the 1959-60 winter sports season, according to results of a survey completed last week by the Colorado Ski Information Center.Earlier this month, the center predicted the hike would be between 20 and 25 percent.The center, a division of the Colorado Visitors Bureau, said the state’s major ski areas were visited by 137,210 persons from outside of Colorado during the season, as compared to 96,522 during the 1958-59 season.The report was not broken down into specific areas.Spending by the skiers while in Colorado, exclusive of transportation to and from the state, was estimated at more than $14 million, up from less than $10 million during the preceding season. …”I think it’s safe to say that this infant industry – which actually had its beginnings in Colorado only a decade ago – definitely has come into its own as big business,” declared Will V. Hodges Jr., bureau vice president (and president of the Aspen Ski Corp.).
Single-day lift ticket prices were going up sharply 25 years ago, according to The Aspen Times. The newspaper reported:Single day lift ticket prices in Aspen are taking a big jump next season with the price at both Aspen Highlands and Aspen Skiing Company increasing at a rate far greater than the anticipated rate of inflation.The Skiing Company will be charging $27 per day at Aspen Mountain, up 12.5 percent, and the Highlands $26 per day, an increase of 8.3 percent. The basic charge at Snowmass will be $26, an 8.3 percent increase. Most economists expect the cost of living to increase about 4 percent.••••These days, bus riders are plugged into their iPods. Twenty-five years ago, music on buses had been turned off. The Aspen Times reported:Music on public buses is a matter of taste. “Some like it sweet and some like it hot,” says Chic Collins, a member of the Roaring Fork Transit Agency (RFTA) Board.The issue of music on RFTA buses is currently before the board, and it’s not an easy one to decide. All buses are equipped with AM/FM radios, either cassettes or eight-trak players, and public address systems.Right now only the PA systems are operable. Music has been disallowed for about three months, ever since RFTA was notified by the American Society of Composers, Authors & Publishers (ASCAP) that it was in violation of copyright laws.ASCAP says that RFTA bus drivers, by playing a radio on a bus, are receiving the radio’s broadcast and then rebroadcasting to passengers. For that, a fee is required, under ASCAP laws. …ASCAP has told RFTA that it owes the society approximately $7,000 for material it rebroadcast on its buses during the past two years.
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After nine months of being shuttered due to the COVID-19 crisis, the Wheeler Opera House will reopen for local acts. A touchless reservation system will be open to 53 people for in-person at the venue. Online live streaming also will be available.